By Debbie Gregory
Former Works in Progress Daycare employee, Ashley Breann Centers, of Lafayette, has been indicted by the Macon County Grand Jury on 13 counts of child abuse and neglect.
According to Assistant District Attorney General Javin Cripps, Ashley Centers entered a “not guilty” plea on her arraignment day.
The indictments read:
The Grand Jurors of Macon County, Tennessee, duly empaneled and sworn upon their oath present that Ashley Breann Centers between August 1, 2018 and September 12, 2018, in Macon County, and before the finding of this indictment, did unlawfully and knowingly, other than by accidental means, treat a child eight (8) years of age or less, in such a manner as to inflict injury to the said child, in violation of T.C.A. 39-15-401(a), and against the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee.
The Grand Jurors of Macon County, Tennessee, duly empaneled and sworn upon their oath present that Ashley Breann Centers between August 1, 2018, and September 12, 2018, in Macon County, and before the finding of this indictment, did unlawfully and knowingly neglect a child eight (8) years of age or less, so as to adversely affect the child’s health and welfare, in violation of T.C.A. 39-15-401(b), and against the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee.
As previously reported in the Macon County Chronicle, on September 12, 2018, the parents of an 18-month-old reported that their daughter came home from Works in Progress Daycare with a busted nose the day before. They were told that another child had hit her in the face with a block, but they didn’t buy the employee’s story based on the appearance of her injury.
The child’s parents reported the incident to the Macon County Sheriff’s Department after requesting to see video footage from the classroom on the day their daughter was injured.
The video footage showed one of the daycare workers - 23-year-old Ashley Breann Centers - physically mistreating three children, including their daughter.
Once the parents reported the abuse to authorities, officers also watched the video.
A report filed by one of the investigating officers stated that Centers slammed two girls on the floor in an aggressive and cruel manner, and kicked another little girl while she was laying on the floor on her sleeping mat.
All the victims were under the age of two.
After watching the video, local authorities obtained a warrant for Centers’ arrest which was originally for three counts of child abuse and neglect, but following further investigation she was indicted on 13 counts.
Centers was arrested that same day, September 12, and her bond was set at $10,000. She was released later that day.